Championship action for me, this game will be played at the Riverside and will kick off at 19:45 UK time. The game will be played between the hosts Middlesbrough, they will host South Yorkshire side Rotherham United.
The hosts have started the season as many would have expected, they find themselves top of the table after 13 games, they’ve got a really strong side and a very experienced manager. Many expect Boro to be challenging for automatic promotion this season and their form of late indicates this is true. They’ve managed 25 points from 13 games, this is based on 7 wins, 4 draws and 2 defeats. Boro head into the game on the back of a great 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday. The game was live on Sky and as a result I watched the game and was very impressed with Boro and the way in which they performed against a tough side away from home.
Their last 2 away games has seen them win both games, 2-0 vs Ipswich and 2-1 vs Wednesday. At home they look strong in terms of not conceding goals, therefore, I think Luke’s tip of Boro to score only is a decent one. I personally don’t usually risk these bets as it only takes a fluke goals (own goal or screamer) and the bet is ruined.
Sampdoria hit some decent period before the break, as the team comes from two defeats. Firstly they won at home against Spal, but then also surprised Atalanta away from home with a narrow 1:0 victory. The only goal was scored back in the 76th minute via Tonelli, in a game where the guests used their chances properly and were defending, by all means, to keep up the lead till the end. Overall, the hosts have created more but failed to make the chances pay. With two consecutive victories in Serie A, no doubt that the team wants to continue the positive momentum and keep up the race for the European positions.
After a pretty decent period, players of Sassuolo have suffered two back to back defeats. It was quite expected losses, since the team lost at home against Milan and on the road to Napoli in the most recent game, being unable to stay more competitive against far stronger opponents. Ounas opened up the visitors already in the third minute, while the players of Sassuolo proved to be a very good team, with some decent chances too. Insigne, however, doubled up the lead in the 72nd minute in the second halftime during which the visitors had much better chances created. Still, the side is only a couple of points away from the European positions.
We can’t say that Villarreal is in a very good start of the season, especially not after two consecutive defeats now. After a home defeat to Valladolid, the side went on to suffer 3:1 defeat away to Espanyol before the international break. Even though they had a 1:1 result until the last fifteen minutes, it’s true that they weren’t as competitive as they should and deserved this defeat completely. The side is now at 16th position with just a point more than relegating Leganes.
Atletico Madrid isn’t as effective as they should be, but thanks to great stability at the back the side is sharing the second position together with Barcelona for now. In their most recent game, the side managed to get a three-pointer at home against Betis 1:0 before the international break. The only goal was scored in the 74th minute via Correa, but it was a deserved victory since Betis failed to be more concrete despite having more of the ball possession.
With four victories and three defeats, Spezia is having a decent entrance into the new season as the target now surely stands out to fight for promotion. After their narrow home victory over Carpi 2:1, the side went on and confirmed their good form with a 1:3 victory away from home against Livorno.
They had a perfect entrance into the match and took the 2:0 lead already in first minutes thanks to goals from Crimi and Okereke. They completely outplayed the rival at first, remaining satisfied with the result and leaving the ball control to their opponents in the second part. So far they have three victories out of three home games and no doubt that another three-pointer is their target for the clash against Pescara.
Armenia started the UEFA Nations League with a 2:1 narrow victory at home over Liechtenstein and it looked fine for the moment, but their visit to FYR Macedonia brought them back to reality when they suffered 2:0 defeat in September.
That defeat was pretty much deserved, but the real disappointment came last Saturday afternoon when they welcomed Gibraltar and stood defeated with a 1:0 result. The only goal was scored back in the 50th minute via penalty kick taken by Chipolina.
It was the first victory away from home in the history of Gibraltar, while the Armenians have every reason to feel frustrated as they looked like a far more superior side on the field, but failed to make their chances count at all. It’s something to this about for them, since the team can’t expect much with such effectivity.
In comparison to previous few call-ups, the home team won’t be able to count at defenders Armen Manucharyan (Pyunik), Hayk Ishkhanyan (Gandzasar), Andre Caslisir (Goteborg), midfielders Aras Ozbiliz (Willem II) and Erik Vardanyan (Pyunik).
Azerbaijan didn’t start the UEFA Nations League the way they wanted, however, the team has a chance to recover and still to get the much needed first position and earn further promotion. After starting draw matches against Kosovo and Malta on the road, they responded with better performance away to the Faroe Islands on Thursday evening and celebrated a 3:0 victory.
It must be said that they were better against Kosovo and Malta, but the final result lacked, however, have shown their quality on the road couple of days ago. In comparison to previous matches, they showed effectivity this time, taking the lead via Oliveira in the 28th minute and it was easier for them to play since then.
Their hosts had the ball possession, while the Azeri side was much more concrete and threatening, sealing the victory with goals from Nazarov in the 67th minute and a penalty from Oliveira in the 86th minute.
The side is now two points behind Kosovo and needs a victory here in order to keep the chances of getting the first position in the end. In comparison to previous call-up, the hosts will miss midfielders Javid Huseynov (Gabala), Joshgun Diniyev (Qarabag), Rahman Hajiyev (Neftchi) and forward Rauf Aliyev (Gabala).
There are no many reasons to be happy with the start of the season for Northampton since the team has only one victory in the first eleven rounds of the League Two. However, they did look decently fine in a 1:1 draw away to Swindon last Saturday afternoon.
The visitors even took the lead first, in the 60th minute via O’Toole, however, were unable to keep up with the hosts and conceded in the 73rd minute with a goal from Taylor.
Their hosts were a slight favorite and remained to be better in the last phase of the match, however, Northampton pulled out that point in the end, mostly thanks to their fighting spirit. It was their second consecutive draw in the league, previously holding Bury to a goalless game.
With a victory, six draws and five defeats, the side is just above the relegation zone with a point more than the 23rd position ranked Cambridge United. Together with Grimsby and Cheltenham, they are the least effective side in the league with only nine goals scored.
They were solid on the road in a Checkatrade Trophy game last Tuesday evening when the side won over Oxford United with a 1:2 result using the rotated squad.
Today, in Romanian second division named Liga 2, Chindia Targoviste(5th place) will play against Poli Timisoara(19th place).
Chindia Targoviste is a team that was founded only 8 years ago. Despite being a team with no history, they are already in the second division managing in the last 3 season some very good results like:
– 2015 (Liga 2) 3rd place but the format wasn’t the one from today so they didn’t get any promotion
– 2016 (Liga 2) 5th place
– 2017 (Liga 2) 3rd place, they played a play-off for promotion with a team from Liga 1 and they lost at penalties
So now, they are trying again to promote and so far they are doing an alright job. They are on the 5th place with 20points , 4 points behind the leaders Clinceni. Their record is also an alright one 6W-2D-2L ( 18-11) . Away from home they managed to have till now a record of 3W-1D-1L (6-4) . I don’t know too many things about them but I’ve seen some matches and they are trying to play at a fast pace with passes from one or two passes. The team is without any injury and is meaning that their main player Cherchez ( an attacking midfielder with 8 games and 7 goals) will be on the field .
Today, in Romania second division named Liga 2, Petrolul Ploiesti (5th place) will play at home against Luceafarul Oradea (15th place).
Petrolul is an old team from Romania that has a good trophy cabinet. With other words, they are a team that has tradition. They were relegated a couple of years ago due to financial problems but now they are back and they want to come back to the first division. This year, under Leo Grozavu ( a specialist of managing teams from lower divisions ), the team is playing very good at home , their record being 4-1-0 (11 scored, 1 conceded). Away from home the team has problems managing only 2 wins and 3 defeats.
On the paper Petrolul is looking very good because they have players with experience that played in the first league.
Also, no injuries, so Grozavu has all the players available.
Fulham entered the season in a decent way, however now the team has four matches run without a victory and with the competition getting really strong, it doesn’t seem like an easy season in ahead of them for now.
In the most recent game last weekend the side visited Everton and suffered 3:0 defeat without being able to respond to the opponents in the last thirty minutes of the clash. The hosts were better in the first halftime, but have completely overrun the opponent in the second even missing the penalty before they took the lead.
Sigurdsson brought the hosts into the lead in the 56th minute, while Tosun scored second ten minutes later and Sigurdsson sealed the three-pointer in the 89th minute. Fulham is now just above the relegation zone having two points more than relegating Newcastle.
Mitrovic should be in the center of attack, with Vietto and Schurrle on the wings. Left-back Joe Bryan (4/0) and right back Timothy Fosu-Mensah (5/0) are both injured. Central defender Calum Chambers (5/0) will not be playing due to a loan agreement with Arsenal.